"Perhaps the genius of ultrarunning is its supreme lack of utility. It makes no sense in a world of space ships and supercomputers to run vast distances on foot. There is no money in it and no fame, frequently not even the approval of peers. But as poets, apostles and philosophers have insisted from the dawn of time, there is more to life than logic and common sense."
- David Blaikie

Monday, February 9, 2009

Uwharrie 40M 2009

Whew! A quick post on the Uwharrie Mountain Run 40 Miler this past weekend...

After my first DNF here last year (followed by a solo rematch) I finally feel good about this race! I passed through in 6:37 this time for my first podium finish in 3rd place. I felt a little twinge when I slipped to 3rd in the last couple miles after having spent half the race in 2nd, but I think that was only due to the team competition and sense that I was somehow letting my fellow Trailheads down.
My racing philosophy is neatly aligned with George Sheehan's observation that "It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit."

My Garmin data is up on Motionbased here. Definitely more slowing than I wanted in the 2nd half, but had a great time running fast with my new friends Ronnie Weed and Byron Backer the first half of the race (3:01 at the turn).

Best part of the race? Camping out with the Trailheads the night before! That deserves it's own post...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hardrock 2009

I got accepted into Hardrock! I'm still in shock and sorting out my thoughts. Here are some of the things running through my head...
  1. Holy Crap, what have I done?
Yeah, that's pretty much it.

A picture is worth 1000 words, so I updated my blog header picture with one of Island Lake taken from the Hardrock course.

With ultras an elevation profile is worth about 50,000 words.

Here are some of those words from the 2008 Runners Manual (69 pages!):
"The HARDROCK 100 is a mountain run that passes through some of the most beautiful and rugged mountains in the world."

"The course is designed to provide extreme challenges in altitude, steepness, and remoteness."

"Elevation changes range from a high of 14,048' to a low of 7680'. The total vertical climb and descent, accumulated while crossing thirteen ridges over 12000' in elevation, is about 66,000 feet."

"Animal life is abundant."

"This is a dangerous course! In addition to trail running, you will do some mild rock climbing (hands required), wade ice cold streams, struggle through snow which at night and in the early morning will be rock hard and slick and during the heat of the day will be so soft you can sink to your knees and above, cross cliffs where a fall could send you 300 feet straight down, use fixed ropes as handrails, and be expected to negotiate the course with or without markers."

"Feel free to include any specialized equipment such as ice axes, crampons, snow shoes, or skis that you are willing to carry between drop bag stations as part of your paraphernalia."

"This is a "post graduate" run, and not just a harder or higher version of some other trail hundred miler."

"Mountaineering, wilderness survival and wilderness navigation skills are as important in this event as your endurance."

Holy Crap, what have I done?